On Modern Business and Going Platform Agnostic Michael Kwan February 2, 2015 The old way of conducting business involved putting everything into completely separate silos. You’d find yourself inundated with so much proprietary hardware and software that switching anything out of the system would be a nerve-wracking exercise in frustration. This cable won’t go into that port and this software won’t export to this other database. But the world is changing. More companies are allowing their employees to bring their own devices that can then be suitably protected and configured by the IT department. And they’re also recognizing that their partners, vendors and customers are similarly coming from a variety of platforms, ecosystems and devices. Everyone needs to be open and adaptable, particularly when it comes to communication. Crossing the Great Divide One of the finest examples of this trend comes from the mobile world. The heaviest hitters in this field are naturally Apple with its iOS platform and Google with its Android operating system. You have people who are firm supporters of either camp and they’re simply not willing to budge. And even if they are, the experience on a smartphone can be completely separate from the one on a computer. This is rapidly changing. Just recently, WhatsApp Web was unleashed upon the world. It took what has been a messaging experience exclusively locked up on mobile devices with actual phone numbers and brought it to nearly any computer with a web-based interface. It’s not a complete migration, but it changes the very nature of the instant messenger. And you may have seen the recent article on The Verge saying that the best way to read your (Google) Gmail on your (Apple) iPhone was through the the (Microsoft) Outlook app. How’s that for bridging what was once a vast ocean that divided these companies? Talk to Anyone, Anywhere on Any Device Of course, this kind of philosophy hasn’t been universally adopted clear across the board for everything–you still won’t find iMessage on your Samsung Galaxy–but you are seeing the increased demand among individual and corporate users alike for this cross-device functionality. A fantastic example of this is the video conferencing platform by Blue Jeans. On the mobile side, it supports both Android and iOS. You can collaborate with up to 25 participants directly on your mobile device, including those using a number of desktop-based conference room video systems and standards like Cisco Jabber, Skype, Microsoft Lync and Polycom. By opening up this kind of interoperability, Blue Jeans facilitates the ability for any business to connect great minds from across all sorts of places and devices in the same conference. It’s easy to use, content can be quickly shared, and because it’s cloud-based, participants don’t need dedicated multipoint control unit (MCU) hardware. The Best Web Is the Responsive Web Even the way that companies, service providers and vendors are going about providing better multi-device support is quickly changing. It used to be that you’d have completely separate solutions on these different platforms and they just happen to communicate with one another. More and more, you’re seeing a single solution that happens to work with multiple platforms. In the context of the Internet, you may have noticed that mobile-optimized sites that look completely different from their full desktop counterparts are giving way to “responsive” web design. It’s the same theme or look, but it adapts on the fly to the screen and device. That’s a lot smarter, I’d say, and far more versatile for everyone moving forward. Share This With The World!